It’s been two weeks since my last blog post, and I’m bringing you soup. Brisbane has entered its proper winter phase. Things that signal winter has arrived:
– people start wearing maroon-coloured jerseys around town, meaning State of Origin is upon us
– the open air ice-skating rink appears in King George Square
– the golden orb spiders have all but disappeared from sight / been eaten by birds, or something
– people comment on how cold it is, to everyone, everywhere
The temperatures are sometimes even in the single digits! My skin has turned to dry paper, my lips feel like sandpaper when I purse them together, my fingertips are dry (but not the rest of my hands!?). And I ain’t even mad about it.
With this wave of cold weather, I’ve been enjoying spending time in our courtyard. It’s slightly protected from the wind, a beautiful spot to monitor my basil seedling children and drink a coffee or eat some lunch. I normally get sick of soup after one sitting, but I cannot get enough at the moment. So the other day I made pumpkin soup for lunch and took it into the courtyard. It’s hard to beat a classic pumpkin soup, but adding the miso and ginger gave this version even more heartiness and warmth. The black sesame croutons? A highly advisable addition.
On a side note, Smitten Kitchen’s red pepper soup is also a winter must-have for me. Last night I made it for GoT final night and added a big teaspoonful of my friend Alex’s halfway-to-hell hot sauce (containing 333 chillis :)). And this tomato + lime soup will be happening again soon ASAP, cheese rolls and all.
- 1 kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, roughly chopped, seeds discarded
- 1 small potato (~100g), roughly chopped
- 1 large brown onion, peeled, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled, roughly chopped
- 2 thumb-sized pieces of ginger, peeled, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp white miso paste
- 3 cups / 750ml vegetable stock
- 2 thick slices of old/stale sourdough bread, sliced into 2 cm cubes
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp oil (such as rice bran or grapeseed)
- ¼ cup black sesame seeds*
- Place a large stovetop casserole dish over medium heat and add 1-2 tbsp of oil.
- Add the pumpkin and potato, and cook for five minutes or so, until beginning to soften slightly.
- Add the onion, garlic and ginger, and cook for two to three more minutes.
- Stir through the miso paste, then add the vegetable stock. Turn the heat to high to bring to the boil, then reduce back to medium heat to simmer for 20 minutes or so, until the pumpkin and potato are soft.
- Ladle the mixture into a blender and blend until smooth, or use an immersion blender in the pot to blend.
- Keep the mixture warm at a low heat while you prepare the croutons!
- Add the butter and oil into a frypan over medium-high heat, and melt the butter.
- Add the black sesame seeds, and toss to coat them in the butter/oil mixture.
- Add the sourdough, and fry until crispy.
- Serve the soup topped with croutons and any remaining black sesame seeds in the frypan.